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Political Institutions and the Lykian and Karian Language in the Process of Hellenization between the Achaemenids and the Early Diadochi

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Chapter Summary

The study of the use of language in political documents of Lykians and Karians, has shown that in this respect there was no linear, uninterrupted development towards the use of Greek as the sole official language, and consequently towards ubiquitous and continuous Hellenization. Evidence for the use of Greek must be differentiated according to its context, whether sepulchral, religious, political, and consider the perspective of its author, whether interior or exterior, communal or monarchic. Thus, in Karia an unequivocal preference for the local language as the 'state language' can be ascertained at a time when resolutions of the community did not occur under monarchic directive. Paradoxically, the free indigenous community was reluctant to continue what the indigenous rulers of the country in the fourth century BCE had promoted.

Keywords: Greek language; Hellenization; Karian script; Lykian communities; political institutions



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